Website navigation represents a factor that can determine whether your website visitors will feel attached to your website or not. For example, if you are not using vertical navigation menus on your websites, your customers will likely feel confused. If they want to search for a particular eCommerce product, they wouldn’t know where the search option is. Therefore, they will leave your website without any hesitation. Consequently, navigating your website with a well-defined and logical structure is essential to improve the user experience.
If you intend to create a navigation system for your website, you must know that it is not a walk in the park for you. Therefore, we have decided to provide you with some concrete suggestions and benefits about vertical navigation. If you want to create an eCommerce website for your business, you should introduce the navigation menus to your working plans at all costs.
What is Vertical Navigation?
Before we get into the strategies and benefits, it is important to understand a vertical navigation menu. It is also referred to as a vertical sidebar or vertical navbar. It is defined as a navigation menu component that stretches along the side of the page to display all the available links. These links will drag the website visitors across different parts of the desktop or mobile application.
Those links must be updated for the website visitors. For example, your website visitors shouldn’t be investing all the time in going through the entirety of your website, visualizing the navigation menu, and all they get is a message of a broken link or page not found. These links are broken links and are one of your potential website security vulnerabilities. Usually, a comprehensive tree or table is displayed with all the working links. This results in fast navigation to required areas and quick navigation across two different website pages.
Benefits of Vertical Navigation
1. Fits for all Screens
One of the most significant advantages of using vertical navigation menus is that it fits all screens. This menu bar has the tendency to open with the same width and height, no matter if you are accessing it from your desktop or mobile. Strikingly allow you to create ideal and responsive website layouts via the customization of online templates.
With a responsive website layout, we can guarantee that your menu bar will fit all the device’s screen sizes. Web designing has evolved in the last decade. When using a vertical bar on your website, make sure that your general layout is simple for an improved user experience. Grand Tour Florence on Strikingly is a brilliant example in which the vertical navigation can see vertical navigation clearly with proper font choice and typography.
2. Simplified Text
As you may have heard many times on different occasions i.e. “Simplicity is genius”, this even applies to the website navigation system. When using a vertical navigation menu, you shouldn’t be bothered about the quantity. You shouldn’t go with a frame of mind that the more elements provided in your navigation menu, the lower bounce rate your website will have.
Similarly, if you involve lesser elements in the sidebar, make sure that those elements are not lengthy. Tiny basic links bring more benefits as compared to long and informative texts. Even though the information might be correct, you should be pragmatic while naming your elements. This enables you to keep your website visitors engaged instead of making them lose focus from your objective.
3. Easy Navigation on an Individual Page Layout
One of the most significant benefits of a vertical navigation menu is that it makes the website easy to use, especially if you have a single-page layout. Rather than waiting for the next page to appear, you can quickly go through the entire website page, which completes the navigation process. Going through different pages of a dynamic website can prove to be annoying. Therefore, it is better to include navigation menus on a single page layout so that you go through the entire website within a couple of clicks. The vertical menu bar can be included in a responsive website for improved navigation related to any screen size.
Best Strategies for Using Vertical Navigation
1. Either Left or Right
As you may have seen with most of the websites on Strikingly, the website owners tend to place their vertical navigation menus on the left side. The reason is that majority of the website owners tend to move from left to right while going through a particular website. Therefore, you shouldn’t do anything different and place your navigation menu on the same side as the rest of your competitors.
However, the usage of the majority doesn’t necessarily mean that the outcome becomes factually correct. You can also place your navigation menu on the right side. For example, suppose you have limited space available on your website and include interesting elements on the navigation bar. In that case, you can create your navigation menu on the right side. This also brings uniqueness to your website.
2. Keep Texts Simple
When we talk about simple texts, it doesn’t just mean that your texts must be easy to read but also easy to scan. As a website owner, you must ensure that the elements in your vertical navigation menu are easy to understand so that you can make life easy for your respective audiences. Moreover, you should also include easily identifiable icons to ensure a faster navigation process by visually sending the meaning of those links.
Just like it is the case with all other menus, you must try to include secondary and primary colors to display the hierarchy between your menu items. Make sure that you include hover and clicking interactions to create a more user-friendly approach for the expansion of menus. For example, suppose you include a selection effect, such as an extraordinary color shade. In that case, you will get the message across about the kind of things they can expect while choosing that particular menu item. If there are numerous menu items in the navigation bar, make sure that you categorize them by grouping similar ones and creating subtitles for a faster navigation process.
3. Use it with Horizontal Navigation.
Vertical navigation menus usually take up a lot of space on a website page and sometimes even negatively impact the website content by affecting its display. Therefore, many website owners have decided to hide their navigation menus to generate more space to display their website content. Consequently, the user must click and hover over a brand logo or a specified menu icon (on the upper-left corner) for the expansion of dropdown vertical navigation bars. However, this can prove to be a disadvantage because if you hide your navigation bar, you may hide it forever. The users may not know that your navigation bar actually exists.
Display Sections in the Navigation Menu of Your Website
If you have a static website or a one-pager Strikingly enables you to display or hide sections in your website's navigation menu. Whether you have horizontal or vertical navigation menus, this is applicable for both versions. However, you must note that this feature doesn’t mean that you hide the section from the displayed or the published page. The text displayed on the navigation menu is determined by the sidebar on the left-hand side. If you click any of these section names, you will undergo the following:
Image taken from Strikingly
Select the section name under consideration
Click on the gear icon seen beside the considered section name.
Untick the “Show in navigation” option to hide it from the navigation menu.
Apart from the sections on the left side, you will also see a space for external links. You can use this space to link your store or blogs to a different page and make sure that your name gets displayed in the navigation menu. If you intend to do this, you need to go through the following steps:
Image taken from Strikingly
Click on the option “Add New Link”
Type the name shown to your website visitors when they click
Paste your URL in the “Link URL” section
Remove all the unnecessary external links
A vertical navigation menu offers a more natural hierarchy list of links despite taking up more page space. If you implement this navigation menu correctly, the results are there for you to see. If you intend to create a responsive website, make sure that you go through a few tutorials of website navigation systems and the way website owners integrate them into their platforms.
If you look at all the other prioritized websites, they contain a lot of information in the navigation menus. Rather than doing exactly the same, you should assess all the elements that are fitting for your company and target market. By using involving links of your social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, you can get the best out of your website navigation and ensure that your audience is satisfied with you.